Michigan Governor Whitmer Issues Executive Order

By: MITA & Bodman, PLC

Congress Passes More Money To Support Aide Relief Programs Congress met again this week under social distancing rules to pass more relief money for employers and employees. As MITA has reported, Congress has already passed several programs that extend unemployment benefits, provide paycheck relief for employers, increase supplies for medical facilities, as well as other measures in an attempt to help Americans get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) passed by Congress several weeks ago saw an enormous amount of applications from businesses across the country that are suffering because of individual state shutdowns. With such high demand, the Small Business Administration (SBA) began to run out of money for the requests coming in, forcing Congress to meet again. In the end, the legislation provides $310 billion to replenish the SBA’s PPP, $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for testing. The PPP program was established to give some hope to businesses that wished to retain their employees or bring them back when the economy opened back up. If the loans are used properly for employee costs, they become forgivable and turn into grants that don’t need to be paid back. News began to spread early in the use of the PPP that the SBA would not have the resources to fulfill the program’s needs. Hopefully this new measure by Congress will put an end to that concern and those companies affected by COVID-19 can get some relief from the federal government. Governor Whitmer Issues Executive Order Temporarily Extending Unemployment and Eligibility Also this week, Governor Whitmer issued a new Executive Order extending unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. In addition, Executive Order 2020-57 loosens up eligibility requirements to receive those unemployment benefits. The concern for MITA members is with extended benefits and allowances: certain aspects of the labor force may not be as willing to return to work until they have reached the end of their benefit period. Earlier this week, MITA partnered with Bodman, PLC to present a live webinar that discussed ways to encourage employees to return to work. Please refer to the MITA bulletin found here for information that was presented on the webinar. Governor Extends Stay at Home Order Through May 15, 2020, Loosening Some Restrictions on Certain Businesses Today, Governor Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order for another two weeks. Under pressures from the business community, as well as the public, certain restrictions on specific businesses have been lifted. Landscapers, nurseries and other retail stores previously required to close will be allowed to offer curbside pick-up sales. In addition, some leisure activities are allowable under the new Executive Order. Motor-boating and golf will now be allowed, as well as travel to vacation residences within the state.    
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